Oscar Piastri, Alpine, Bahrain International Circuit, 2022

Piastri thanks Alpine for support after confirming departure to McLaren

2022 Dutch Grand Prix

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Oscar Piastri has thanked Alpine team members for their support after his move to McLaren for next season was confirmed.

The dispute between Alpine and McLaren over Piastri’s services was resolved today by the FIA’s Contract Recognition Board. Piastri, who has been an Alpine junior driver since 2020, will make his F1 debut for McLaren.

“I am super-excited to be joining the grid and with such a prestigious team like McLaren,” said Piastri on social media after the CRB’s decision was announced. “I have no doubt it’s a great place to start my career. It’s been a long road up until this point.”

Alpine was infuriated by its reserve driver’s move, having announced him as Fernando Alonso’s replacement for next year. Team principal Otmar Szafnauer said last week “my wish for Oscar is that he had a bit more integrity”.

Piastri thanked the team for the backing they had given him. “I’ve been racing for 12 years and this was my dream from the very beginning,” he continued. “So I just want to thank everybody who supported me throughout my journey, including my colleagues at Alpine for the past few years.

“Also my family in particular, who have made a significant contribution to supporting my career from the very beginning. I can’t wait to be representing papaya. I’ll be doing my best to drive as quickly as possible and get some good results.”

McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl said they never had any doubt the CRB would rule in their favour having hired Piastri to replace Daniel Ricciardo alongside Lando Norris.

“In terms of the Contract Recognition Board, to be honest for us, that was never a case,” he told Sky. “Therefore, I guess it’s better you ask the other party involved why they thought they had a case and therefore this is not really any surprise for us.

“It’s important now we can look to the future. It’s important also to focus at the same time on the final eight races of the season, together with Daniel and Lando. We want to finish the season in a good fight with the Alpines and then focus on next year.”

Piastr “has shown in the junior categories that he is something very special and has a lot of potential,” Seidl added. “Plus, I think also in terms of personality, I think he is a perfect fit into our team, and that should be the main focus of the news.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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9 comments on “Piastri thanks Alpine for support after confirming departure to McLaren”

  1. It’ll be interesting to see who Alpine attracts now. Otmar impugning Oscar’s integrity when it seems clear from the CRB results as well as Seidl’s comments that he and his management team were absolutely acting with integrity as well as Fernando’s sudden departure to a team further back on the grid has to have an effect on top talent looking for a team. Maybe they can get Ricciardo back, but it is clear his star is not as bright as it once was. They can clearly attract junior talent trying to break into F1, but is Ocon the best talent they will have for the foreseeable future? I don’t think Ocon is horrible, but for a factory team that has to be a big blow to their championship aspirations.

    1. Honestly some years ago Alpine really seemed to want to be part to the trend of signing a “young future star” with a long term contract (like Leclerc, Norris, Russel and Verstappen) but I thought it was a misstep since when they made the announcement.

      By now they could have Piastri learn from Alonso, with a decent car if Piastri would confirm his talent it would have been one of the best lineups on the grid, now they’ll have two ok drivers

    2. There are only ten teams in the sport, 20 seats (and almost all of them taken). I think they do whatever they want to their drivers, act any way they like (except maybe commit genocide or something), they will still attract almost any available driver. It’s either you take what’s available or quit your job being 20-something old, without any other qualifications (or race in other categories, but it’s probably simpler to just drive a bus and get paid, instead of spending money to race). Ricciardo is experienced, he’s had a decent career and he’s rich, he can quit if he wants (albeit with a bitter ending to his career). I can’t imagine Drugovich, Gasly, Tsunoda, Schumacher, Doohan or any other driver with uncertain future refusing even Williams, while driving for Alpine must seem like a dream job. It’s not like F1 is an open market, but a very (too) small, closed circle. And as we can see, it’s not like they want to expand with new teams, they enjoy this situation.

  2. I doubt if thanking Alpine is going to change their opinion of you just now Oscar.
    You have put quite a few noses out of joint and given every team Boss on the grid reason to consider you something of a mercenary.

    If you drive well next year then all of this will soon be forgotten.
    If you perform badly then the knives will be out for you damn fast.

    Either way, I look forwards to you entertaining me ;)

    1. That’s for damn sure. There will be either massive praise or massive condemnation.
      But honestly it’s hard for me to imagine that Oscar Piastri will be a flop. I expect at worst, he’ll be as the worse performer of drivers who won GP3-F3/GP2-F2 in succession… Nico Hulkenberg. But I expect him to be better because he’ll already be in a better car than Nico Hulkenberg ever enjoyed.

      But just like you, I look forward to being entertained :-)

      1. Mmm, I’m not sure if this mclaren will be any better than the renault or force india cars hulkenberg had, to me they seem to all be upper midfield cars.

  3. I do hope Ricciardo’s break from McLaren had no stipulations about if he could race next year or not. I hope it was a clean exit and he is a serious contender for the Alpine seat, it seems like a good spot for him. In 2020 Daniel had nearly double the points that Ocon had albeit that was Ocon’s first year with the team and following a year out of F1. Next year would be the opposite, Daniel coming in unfamiliar with the car, on somewhat of a back foot at least in the mindset having been beaten two years in a row by teammate. Frankly I cannot imagine a better driver pairing for Alpine, given their current position in the constructors championship, than Ocon and Ricciardo who can help them develop the car and consistently deliver points; I don’t see that opportunity from Mick Schumacher.

  4. Im torn on this, Piastri is not that rich i think and Alpine backed him but then it seems he was gonna be off the grid yet again or in a williams as Alpine were going with Alonso again. Its laughable they keep Ocon a real talent like Hamilton stuck it on Alonso a quicker Alonso at that, Ocon is way off an old Alonso for all we know Alpine has another good few tenths in there car. Ocon went life and death with another b rate driver Perez he would not be missed.

    1. Yes, I don’t think ocon is an exciting number 1 prospect, and to be honest they wanted piastri, who would probably have taken number 1 from him.

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